India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party BJP (Indian People’s Party) won a landslide victory in the federal parliamentary elections in May. The BJP strengthened its majority in the lower house compared to 2014 and defied the trend in several state elections in 2018. The party gained 303 seats, an increase of 21.
During the election campaign, Modi played on the conflict with Pakistan and presented himself as a guarantor of national security. The elections were held in several rounds between April 11 and May 19. Unrest occurred. Maoist rebels, for example, were blamed for blast attacks and attacks in the states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
The Congress party received 52 of the 542 seats in the lower house. Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi lost in his old constituency in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The party has almost subscribed to the Amethival circuit since 1967. However, he was elected in the southern state of Kerala. Gandhi resigned as party chairman and was succeeded by the mother, Sonia, who led the party in 1998-2017.
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Modi began his second term on May 30. In his new government, Modi appointed the diplomat Subrahmanyam Jaishankar as foreign minister while the home minister went to Amit Shah, a close associate and hardworking BJP politician.
Nirmala Sitharaman became India’s first female finance minister. She announced on September 20 that the corporation tax would be reduced from 30 to 25%, which temporarily lifted the Mumbai stock exchange. But growth in the Indian economy slowed down and in the third quarter it fell to around 4.5%, compared to 7% in 2018. This was attributed to weaker exports, consumption and investment.
Modi’s first trip abroad after the re-election went to the Maldives and Sri Lanka. It was seen as a way to try to counter China’s influence. In October, the Indian leader received China’s President Xi Jinping for informal talks.
The disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir was of great concern. A suicide attack on February 14 near the city of Srinagar claimed the lives of 41 Indian soldiers, the worst in 30 years. Tensions with Pakistan increased. The Islamic group Jaish-e-Mohammad took on the blame. India carried out air strikes against targets in Pakistan, which Pakistan answered. Fire fighting along the border between the countries demanded deaths among civilians as well as in the Indian and Pakistani troops. In July, Interior Minister Shah stated that 93 separatists have been killed since the February attack.
The fashion government abolished Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy on August 5, which the BJP has criticized for many years. Provisions that only resident residents could own property in the state, India’s only Muslim majority, were abolished.
To quell protests, the government deployed thousands of soldiers and shut down the Internet and telephony. Curfews were introduced and about 300 Kashmiri politicians were arrested, including three former chief ministers. Both Pakistan and China were critical and prompted the UN Security Council to discuss the issue at a closed meeting. India considered the matter to be an internal matter. In October, two governors were appointed to govern each: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh respectively.
In the BJP-controlled state of Assam, 1.9 million people were at risk of being declared stateless when they fell outside the National Register of NRC. To join the NRC, proof is required that they or their ancestors had lived in India before 1971 when Bangladesh was formed. Many of those involved were poor Muslims, which some critics considered were signs of diminished tolerance in the BJP-ruled India.
In December, Parliament passed a law in which non-Muslim paperless migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who arrived before 2015 could apply for Indian citizenship. At least 25 people were killed in protests, including in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The Supreme Court is expected to review the law in 2020.
The Supreme Court unanimously decided in November that Hindus have the right to build a temple in the north Indian city of Ayodhya. Hindus and Muslims have long claimed that they are entitled to a disputed temple area. More than 2,000 people were killed in crowds in 1992 after Hindu extremists demolished a 16th century mosque. According to Hindu tradition, the mosque stood at the place where the god Rama was born. The verdict stated that the Muslims are given another plot.
Also in 2019, severe air pollution occurred in several cities, including the capital New Delhi. It was noted, among other things, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Swedish royal couple were on official visits. Schools and construction sites were temporarily closed and vehicular traffic was limited to try to reduce the consequences.
On October 2 – when it was 150 years since Mahatma Gandhi was born – Modi announced that the goal of giving all residents access to the toilet had been achieved. Some organizations questioned the task.
Four men suspected of a conspicuous gang rape near the city of Hyderabad were killed in December by police during a reconstruction of the crime. The men had admitted to killing and burning the woman after the rape. The case triggered major protests.
Due to the tropics, India is divided into two climatic regions: First, in the north, a temperate zone with precipitation of 178mm in July (Delhi) and 25mm in January with temperatures between 14 ° C (January) and 31 ° C (July). Second, in the south, the subtropical zone, which is influenced by the warm, humid southwest monsoons. In the rainy season from July to October there is about 2,565mm of rain on the west coast and 760mm in the highlands of Dekkhan. In winter, cold continental winds come from the northeast (mainland Asia).
According to CountryAAH, the population of India in 2019 was 1,366,417,643, ranking number 2 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.020% yearly, and the population density was 459.5797 people per km2.